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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsBootleg DemakesFreefall Brass: A Texty Space-Sim [DEMO]
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Author Topic: Freefall Brass: A Texty Space-Sim [DEMO]  (Read 18541 times)
Pacian
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« on: August 26, 2008, 01:00:49 PM »

It is the space year 199X.  A bored financial software developer escapes the monotony of everyday existence into the dramatic worlds of 3D space simulators such as Wing Commander and TIE Fighter.  So enamoured with his chosen genre is he, that this misguided soul attempts to create such a game of his own.

Completely lacking in 3D programming skills, he is forced to make the game the only way he knows how...

AS A TEXT-HEAVY STRATEGY GAME.

But following a sudden collapse in the popularity of spreadsheets, this developer - and his game - were never heard from again.

UNTIL NOW.

Prised from the mummified fingers of a skeletal river-corpse, it's:

Freefall Brass

(PS. I'm really not sure if I'm going to finish this in time.)

Update (7th September):

Okay, well, I'm too tired to think right now, let alone code, so I think I've done all I can. I've stitched together a one mission demo of the game:

Freefall Brass Demo (~1Mb)

It should give you an idea of what I'm going for.  There's a lot of features and content that are close to completion, but altogether I suppose there's probably still a few days work left on this thing.  I think my chief mistake was underestimating the extent to which 'just text' would take up time and effort.  D'oh!  Roll Eyes





(Before you ask, Freefall Brass isn't meant to be a synonym for any particular space sim. Wink)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 02:42:19 PM by Pacian » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 01:06:49 PM »

Yey Beer!
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 01:11:13 PM »

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Prised from the mummified fingers of a skeletal river-corpse
Grin
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2008, 04:11:13 PM »

There is a soft spot in my cultural heart for text + abstract graphics. A strategy game? Been waiting for one..  Cool
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 01:13:47 AM »

I like the sound of this. How much detail are you going to put into the combat side of things?


> LOOK
You are in the depths of SPACE. STARS swim in the inky blackness all around you. A DEATH STAR is to the SOUTH.
> X STAR
I don't know which STAR you mean.
> X DEATH STAR
The DEATH STAR is the size of a small moon. It is approaching the REBEL BASE.
> S
You are flying over the surface of the DEATH STAR. Turbolaser fire is all around you. A TRENCH is to the EAST.
> E
You enter the TRENCH.
> LOOK
You are in a long TRENCH running NORTH and SOUTH. The TRENCH is open to space above you.
> EXITS
Exits are NORTH, SOUTH and UP.
> UP
You decide to stay in the TRENCH to avoid the Turbolaser turrets.
> N
You are in a long TRENCH running NORTH and SOUTH. The TRENCH is open to space above you.
Your radio crackles: "Stay on target".
An EXHAUST PORT is far to the NORTH.
DARTH VADER is to the SOUTH.
> N
You are in a long TRENCH running NORTH and SOUTH. The TRENCH is open to space above you.
Your radio crackles: "Stay on target".
An EXHAUST PORT is far to the NORTH.
> X PORT
The EXHAUST PORT is not much smaller than the womp rats you used to bullseye in your T-16 back home.
Your radio crackles: "Stay on target".
> N
You are in a long TRENCH running NORTH and SOUTH. The TRENCH is open to space above you.
Your cockpit glows green as laser fire zips past you from the SOUTH. It is getting more accurate.
An EXHAUST PORT is to the NORTH.
DARTH VADER is to the SOUTH.
> USE FORCE
You stretch out your feelings and feel yourself weaving through the laser fire as though it is not there.
Your radio crackles: "Luke, you've switched off your targetting computer. What's wrong?"
> N
You are in a long TRENCH running NORTH and SOUTH. The TRENCH is open to space above you.
An EXHAUST PORT is here.
> FIRE PROTON TORPEDOES
I don't know what you want me to fire the PROTON TORPEDOES at.
> FIRE PROTON TORPEDOES AT EXHAUST PORT
You mash down the fire button and the TORPEDOES streak away, disappearing into the EXHAUST PORT with a flash of actinic light.
The DEATH STAR explodes.
Play again Y/N?
> N


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Pacian
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2008, 03:43:28 PM »

I like the sound of this. How much detail are you going to put into the combat side of things?

'Some' detail.   Wink

The Brass of the title comes from the fact that you play an officer.  The idea is that you issue orders to the pilots actually fighting the battles, and hear back from them, thereby neatly sidestepping the difficulties of text-based combat.

Quote
> USE FORCE
You stretch out your feelings and feel yourself weaving through the laser fire as though it is not there.
Your radio crackles: "Luke, you've switched off your targetting computer. What's wrong?"

 Beer!
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Pacian
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 12:22:00 PM »

Just wanted to prove that I'm still working on this, and will hopefully have something almost complete in time for the deadline.  Roll Eyes



Your pilots will come up with many (read: about 5 for each different situation) bits of chatter during a mission, amusing you no end!  (Emphasis on the 'no'.)



Every modern fighter pilot needs a pixellated spaceship courtesy of Danc.  Why not zoom in for a closer look at its high-tech workings?



The chief thing I have remaining is the actual combat screen, which is currently too ugly and too not-functional to show.  Oh, and I need to add the ability to save your game.  But other than that... Freefall Brass is maybe probably on track.

My extra special thanks for the extended deadline.  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 02:05:20 PM by Pacian » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 01:45:17 PM »

Looks very sexy.
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 02:21:09 PM »

That fighter looks suspiciously... Tyrian.
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2008, 12:01:29 AM »

That fighter looks suspiciously... Tyrian.

Every modern fighter pilot needs a pixellated spaceship courtesy of Danc.
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2008, 07:06:27 PM »

Right on Wink.
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Pacian
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2008, 02:45:01 PM »

Well, that's it. Updated the first post with a demo. Don't know if this qualifies as an entry, but it's certainly been an interesting (read: arduous) creative endeavour.  I'm not going to have access to a computer for a day or two, so good luck to everyone else in the competition.   Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2008, 03:55:37 PM »

 Kiss Kiss Kiss
I've been wanting to do a texty elite for years, but never quite built the momentum. I imagine a texty wing commander would be similarly awesome.

I'll check out the demo shorty.
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2008, 06:40:52 PM »

Works great for me. I like the mission briefing music, it captures the Wing Commander vibe nicely.

One thing - I think the first time I engaged enemies I couldn't switch commands left + right, but the second time it worked fine and I fired some missiles. Mistake on my part?
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2008, 07:10:54 PM »

That one mission isn't nearly enough, I need more!

I hope you finish this, Pacian!
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 09:38:38 AM »

Ok! Just played the demo, and I really like it so far Smiley The writing's top notch (naturally) - the various characters feel they have a lot of depth; I was already worried about my pilot's welfare in battle even in the first mission Smiley

Only problem I have with it is that with all that text on screen, it's kinda hard to follow what's going on. In combat maybe it would help to have appropriate sound effects and lines indicating who's fighting who, who's taking damage and so on, and maybe have the last line of conversation highlighted... and in mission screens it might be nice to make better use of colour to indicate if you've previously selected an option, even better would be to stagger the text display a bit so that it's "typed" out and you can immediately focus where you need to.

I really like where this is going - hope you continue working on it! Grin
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Pacian
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2008, 10:25:30 AM »

One thing - I think the first time I engaged enemies I couldn't switch commands left + right, but the second time it worked fine and I fired some missiles. Mistake on my part?

Even if it was you, it was me.   Tongue  Even I have a few issues telling if I've selected something or not in the combat screen, which may be what happened there.  Alternatively there are a few similarly-named booleans controlling the whole thing, and I have mixed them up at least once before in my code.

That one mission isn't nearly enough, I need more!

It would have been very possible for me to include more than one, but by the time I finished I was just too tired to generate the content that would have been needed. It's a shame, because I put a lot of work into finishing the game's handling of ejected pilots and expended missiles, but there's no way for you to see that it works.  Roll Eyes

[Good stuff]

Ah, some nice advice there.  I've added it to my to-do list.   Smiley

Ultimately, I'd really like to make the combat much more graphical than it is now, perhaps even with little radar blips circling around shooting at one another.  Though that may be a little beyond my abilities, I'm afraid.  I definitely agree that the whole combat experience is a little overwhelming and unclear.  The chief piece of work on the finished game will be to figure out how to do that well...
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« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2008, 11:21:46 AM »

This one ended just as I started getting into it. Nice job.

I really like that approach to combat.  It reminds me of a grittier, space western kind of setting where you really don't know who or what is out there unless your hands are on the yoke of a starfighter.  I don't know that you need a more sensor-driven interface for combat.  You could probably just make the pilots' conversations more detailed (without being verbose).  It seemed like they occasionally talked to each other, which is great.  More emphasis on inter-character dialogue would be welcome.  Crackly radio voice acting would be great, too.

I think I had a hard time keeping an eye on ship damage during combat, too.

The exploration/story side was interesting, but I'll admit that I was mainly interested in seeing the combat in the beginning.  I was more interested in the description after I'd seen how the patrol played out.  Unless you're married to the player-as-an-amnesiac beginning, an intro sequence tracing through the main character's last battle might be helpful.

I really liked how the characters were written to have a good sense of each other and could subtly advise you on ship configurations, too.


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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2008, 02:17:45 AM »

This one ended just as I started getting into it. Nice job.

Heh, thanks.  I'm honestly not very proud of it in its current form.   Smiley

You could probably just make the pilots' conversations more detailed (without being verbose).  It seemed like they occasionally talked to each other, which is great.  More emphasis on inter-character dialogue would be welcome.

That's something I definitely want to spend time on.  I also want them to comment if you make them do something stupid, like go back to an empty nav point or something. 

I don't know that you need a more sensor-driven interface for combat. You could probably just make the pilots' conversations more detailed (without being verbose).  [...] I think I had a hard time keeping an eye on ship damage during combat, too.

Yeah, I'd already moved some of the stuff from the combat screen into the dialogue and at about 1am last night I suddenly had a revelation about how to move some more stuff into graphical form and otherwise tidy things up.  Hopefully I'll have something new to show not too long after the competition is over...

Unless you're married to the player-as-an-amnesiac beginning, an intro sequence tracing through the main character's last battle might be helpful.

Would you believe I was hoping to put something like that in there up to about two days before the deadline?  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2008, 08:50:54 AM »

Holy hell that was awesome. If you made the music, ya did a fantastic job.

I have to agree on some of the interface comments, and it annoyed me that I couldn't figure out how to order them in mid-battle after I got stuck scrolling through the enemy list.

Otherwise, though, top-notch!
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